Parent Group Opening Professional Doors for Hawks
Alumnae build personal and professional relationship
In 2012, Amelia Arnold ’11 sat for a panel interview for a sales support position in the Legal Specialty group of Wells Fargo Private Bank. Surveying the imposing-looking executives bookending the trio of interviewers, the economics graduate was nervous. The third person, Mary Ashenbrenner ’83, cut right through the tension, raising her hands and announcing “The Hawk will never die!”
“I brought up SJU as an icebreaker,” said Ashenbrenner. “Amelia opened up and her personality came through when talking about her SJU experience. We connected right there. I knew she would be an excellent member of my team.”
During the pre-interview vetting process, Ashenbrenner noticed Arnold’s resume – indicating her status as a Hawk – and adorned it with a metaphorical star. Through her own Saint Joseph’s experience, Ashenbrenner knew Arnold would possess the soft skills like relationship building and interpersonal communication needed to succeed.
“The technical skills? You’ll learn that,” added Ashenbrenner, who graduated with a degree in political science and sits on the Haub School of Business Board of Visitors. “If you can work well with people and solve problems, I’ll take it. It’s the beauty of a liberal arts education.”
Arnold secured the position and has risen through the ranks to become a private bank client associate in the Legal Specialty group. She manages law firm transactions and handles personal client purchases, financing and investing concerns.
Ashenbrenner’s involvement in the University’s parent leadership group, the Loyola Society Executive Council (LSEC), put into focus what more she could do for her alma mater.
“Through the Loyola Society, I began to understand the importance of helping these young students and alumni find careers,” said Ashenbrenner, now a wealth director at PNC Bank. “I made donations to the University through the years but didn’t really have any other connection. The LSEC drove home for me not only the importance of my financial contributions, but also giving back to the students of the University. I wouldn’t have gotten involved in any of this if it weren’t for the Loyola Society.”
Through the LSEC, Ashenbrenner joined the Women’s Leadership Council and began presenting at female-oriented career-mentoring events. From there, she and Arnold began collaborating in mentoring the next generation of Hawks about preparing elevator speeches and how to approach an interview.
“We hope to give students different perspectives,” said Arnold, a resident assistant and member of Alpha Phi sorority and Economic Society as an undergraduate. “I like to help the students. I enjoy staying connected to the University. I network with other alumnae so I’m learning from them also.”
A member of the National Alumni Board, Ashenbrenner continues to advocate for Hawks in the professional realm for simple reasons: “I find a sense of gratitude with Saint Joseph’s students and alumni,” she said. “They are willing to work hard. They’re eager and there’s no sense of entitlement. I’m willing to invest my political capital in them because they aren’t going to disappoint me.”
For information about the Loyola Society Executive Council, contact:
Liz Barone | (610) 660-3203 Interim Senior Director, Athletic Development & Parent Programs
Caroline Sayres P’18 | (610) 660-3466 Director, Parents Program
Beth Misset P’19 | (610) 660-2312 Director, Parents Program Outreach and Engagement
– Kevin Kaufman